Why? Instead of the usual posting of carefully chosen single photos, Stories lets you post a bunch of photos that play like a slideshow. And at the end of the day, those photos disappear.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s very, very much like Snapchat‘s My Story feature. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has a similar Stories feature, too.
But here’s everything you need to know about Instagram Stories.
Here’s how to create a Story:
Tap the plus button on the top-left side of your home screen or swipe left in your Feed. You can also quickly launch Stories by swiping right from the main screen.
Tap the circle button at the bottom of the screen to take photos or tap and hold to record a video. You can also choose to start a live event or a Boomerang or put the app in hands-free mode. More on those options in a minute. To add photos or videos from your gallery, swipe up on the screen or tap the photo icon in the lower-left side of the screen. The app will automatically add a date sticker to your gallery photos, but you can remove it. I’ll show you how below.
Edit the photos or videos with text or add a drawing as you normally would. If you hit the pen icon, there are three types of pens. The third one makes your sketch look like a neon sign.
Tap Done to save your Story.
Tap the Add Your Story button to share to your Story. You can also tap on the Save icon to save your image or video on your phone. If you click the Arrow icon, you can shoot your image to one of your friends as well as your Story. Just tick the bubble by Your Story and the person you want to share with. The image will disappear as soon as your friend sees it.
So if you are in the automotive industry test out Instagram by posting videos and pictures to your timeline and stories and IGTV and actually SHOW people your process, products, services, and results.
Gary Vaynerchuk just announced today he is launching the Sasha Group a digital agency for start ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses that is named after his father Sasha Vaynerchuk where he got his start helping the million dollar business grow 10 to 20x from 3 million that his father established to 60 million using his marketing tactics.
The Sasha Group is another VaynerX company similar to One37pm and Vayner Speakers he recently launched as well.
VaynerX is combining VaynerMentors (consulting), VaynerBeta (branding and marketing) and the Daily Digital Deep Dive (digital consulting) to form The Sasha Group, a company to work exclusively with smaller-sized businesses, with revenues up to $100 million.
James Orsini, chief operating officer of VaynerMedia (which will continue to service larger-sized clients) will serve as president of Sasha based in New York, while Mickey Cloud will be senior vice president and lead the Chattanooga office.
The new entity will have nearly 50 employees that will work across creative, strategy, paid media and the Deep Dive education platform.
“The Sasha Group is named for my father, Sasha Vaynerchuk, who I worked side by side helping build and expand Wine Library,” says Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman/CEO of VaynerX. “It is a nod to where I came from and I’m so proud VaynerX now has an offering for those businesses who are looking for explosive growth along with entrepreneurs and startups, which has been the majority of my business interactions over the last decade.”
Dealing with phone calls is a natural part of doing business. Unfortunately, talking on the phone can take up a lot of time – especially when you have to deal with calls that may not be important enough to warrant your attention. One of the best ways to get around this problem is by hiring a receptionist to field calls for you.
Hiring a traditional receptionist not only means that you have to spend time advertising the position and conducting interviews but you also have to bear the costs associated with adding another employee. A much more effective solution that you may want to consider is working with a virtual receptionist.
More and more businesses are choosing to go this route because of all of the benefits that virtual receptionists provide. Here are 10 reasons why these professionals may be a good fit for your business:
1. A Cost-Effective Solution
Hiring an in-house receptionist is an expensive prospect. The typical annual salary for receptionists is $30,000. On top of that, you also have to cover the cost of benefits for another employee.
Paying for a virtual receptionist usually costs a lot less. As an added bonus, you don’t have to offer benefits since you aren’t actually hiring an employee. This can save you a lot of money.
2. No Equipment Costs
Adding a receptionist to your business involves a lot more than just hiring someone to answer the phone. You also have to set up a space where they can work. That means purchasing a reception desk, computer equipment, an ergonomic chair, and a lot of other supplies. These costs can quickly add up.
When you hire someone who works remotely, on the other hand, they provide all of their own equipment. By eliminating the cost of setting up a workspace, you can dramatically reduce your expenses.
3. More Scheduling Flexibility
Nothing is worse than finding a pile of messages waiting for you first thing in the morning when you arrive at work. This can eat up the most productive time of your day. Unfortunately, most traditional receptionists stick to a 9-to-5 schedule, meaning that they aren’t around to take care of nighttime phone calls.
When you use an answering service such as AnswerFirst, however, you have access to a group of virtual receptionists who can take calls on your behalf around the clock. As a result, it is easier to deal with important issues as they arise.
4. Better Customer Service
For customers, calling a business only to receive an automated message can be a little bit discouraging. Virtual receptionists eliminate the need for these types of message systems.
Instead, every time customers call, they can talk to an actual person, no matter what time of the day or night it is. This provides an excellent experience for your customers, which can make it easier to build long-term relationships and to gain repeat business.
5. Multiple Language Choices
In today’s global business environment, it isn’t uncommon to do business with people who speak a different language. Trying to find a traditional receptionist who speaks more than one language can be challenging. Typically, these bilingual employees earn higher wages, which can cost you a lot of money.
It is also extremely rare to find a receptionist who speaks more than a couple of languages fluently. If you work with clients in a variety of different countries, this can limit the receptionist’s ability to communicate with them effectively.
Virtual receptionists are a great solution to this problem. Most answering services have staff members available who speak a wide range of languages. As a result, they can handle your communications for you, no matter what languages your clients speak.
6. Online Chat Services Are Also Available
Many customers prefer to communicate with businesses through online chat rather than by phone.
For a typical receptionist, trying to keep up with phone calls is hard enough. If they also have to deal with multiple chat windows at the same time, it can be overwhelming. There is only so much multitasking that a single person can do.
When you work with an answering service, however, the company will assign as many virtual receptionists as necessary to your account. That means that any calls or chat messages that come in at the same time can all be dealt with effectively without leaving your customers hanging on hold.
7. Avoid The Hassle Of Hiring Or Training a New Employee
Bringing a receptionist on board takes a lot of time and money. Along with creating a job listing and posting it in relevant places, you also have to sift through resumes, conduct interviews, and provide training. Even worse, new employees sometimes quit right away, meaning that all of the time and effort that you invested in finding them was for nothing.
Phone answering services provide a much simpler solution. Instead of having to screen employees, all that you have to do is find the right phone service. Once you are their customer, they will make sure that a qualified virtual receptionist is assigned to your account at all times. If one of their employees quits, someone else can jump right in and take their place since they have multiple receptionists on hand.
8. Less Stress
Even if you hire the best receptionist in the world, problems can still come up. For instance, what happens if they get sick and can’t come into work? Who will handle greeting customers and answering the phone? This can create a lot of workplace stress.
All of this stress goes away when you work with a virtual receptionist. Companies that employ these receptionists have plenty of staff members on hand to handle your account even if one of their employees calls in sick
Ranking well in Google maps can be extremely lucrative and very beneficial for a local business. It may seem like magic, however it’s possible to do so with a little knowhow.
Listing on Google
If you want to show up on Maps results, you will have to list the business with Google, and you can do this by creating a Google My Business page. This is where you are going to provide basic information on your business. Some of the information you are going to provide include phone number, physical address, and the business category. When choosing a category, you need to be precise, and also include things such as photos so that the viewers can engage with your business. This information will be displayed on the right side of search results when someone searches for businesses. You can also add other useful information such as hours of operations.
Getting Google Reviews to Boost the Business
Google puts a lot of value in reviews on their platform, which provides you with the chance of moving up to the top of the list on the Maps rankings. The thought behind this is simple: if your customers are real and happy, Google knows you are providing quality services.
You should make it easier for the customers to rate and reviews your product and services. Platforms such as WordPress come with a plug-in for Google review, making it easier to get ratings and reviews. You should be careful because all the past customers can go and do the review all at once, which is not good.
The sudden increase in reviews will be translated as fake traffic, even if it is genuine. The reviews should instead be spread over time.
Once you get a review, whether positive or negative, try responding to the person who left the review. You should thank them for their time and considerations. You should always be sensitive when replying.
Making Use of Google Posts
This is a new feature by Google and it is connected with the Google My Business page, which gives you the chance of creating content that will show up in the local search results. This provides an easy way of reaching your customers and letting them know what it is you are doing. When posting content, you should make sure it is engaging and has videos and images, which link to your website so that it can drive traffic. This will help you rank on Google, which gives you the chance of reaching more prospective customers.
Listing the Business on Directories Trusted by the Customers
Google is not the only place that customers find out about businesses and services. There are many directories used by people when looking for a local business like restaurants such as Yahoo Local Listing, Yelp, or Bing Local. There are many users searching businesses on these directories and they will trust the results and ratings they are going to find.
You should ensure that the name, phone number, and address should be the same across the directories. Google will check the listings across the different platforms, and the more consistent it is, the more confident Google will be when boosting the ranking of your business.
Making us of Local Schema Markup
It is very important for your site to have information that can be accessed and displayed by the search engine. A great tool to use for this is Schema markup. The Markup scripts will be implemented in the background and can show important information to prospective customers like the payment types accepted and hours of operation.
Increasing the Speed of Your Website
Just like any other aspect of SEO, the speed will make a lot of difference for potential customers, and even search engines like Google. Even if the users are able to find you on the listings, it doesn’t mean they will wait around for your site to load slowly. They will move to the next option that is faster. There are a number of things you can do to increase the speed of your website. One is avoiding pages that will need to load a lot of extra content that takes up a lot of resources such as over-sized images.
Embedding Google Maps on Your Website
According to this Google maps marketing department, doing this will achieve two goals; one is that it will let Google know that you have a local presence, and it will also be of help for potential customers to stay engaged and learn where they are going to find the business. You should be doing anything that will make it easier for your customers to get to your business.
Keeping up with social media
Google has been putting more emphasis on social signals as one of the factors for rankings, and this is even more important for Maps results. The businesses having an active and consistent presence online are more likely to go at the top of the search engine results page.
The social media accounts of your business should be active, posting and sharing content on a regular basis and engaging with your audience.
Giving Mobile Searches Priority
Most people are accessing the internet using their mobile devices. It is more likely that customers will be using their phones to search, and most of them are usually on the go and looking for something nearby. You should make sure that your mobile site is in a good condition because you want to accommodate the mobile searches. This will mean ensuring that the site has been properly optimized, and the content can be viewed correctly on all the screen sizes and also loads fast. Some other considerations that will need to be considered when optimizing for mobile including clock to call so that users will be able to reach you more easily.
All important information should be visible and located at the top so that the customers don’t have to struggle to find what they are looking for.
Another effective way for ranking well on Google maps is giving it your all on your SEO campaign. The more your site ranks, the better your chancing of ranking well on Maps. You should adhere to Google’s best practices so you will rank well for Maps and regular search results.
First let Gary Vaynerchuk explain it to you himself from his Facebook live stream.
Our take on One37PM
One37PM, is another web propery and media brand that Gary Vaynerchuk can control and push his brands and client brands through specifically when targeting men from 15-55 year olds that love sports, hip hop, and the grind of entrepreneurship.
It’s a new addition to his build up of The Gallery Media Group, (a Vox Media) type portfolio of websites, podcasts, social media accounts built to target specific audiences. This is an add on to his PureWow deal to balance out his portfolio which with PureWow is specifically targeting the Female demographic.
One37PM is just another step towards owning, control, creating, and distributing media without having to pander to other sites or web properties.
It’s his way to push branded content through a specifically target website whenever he needs to.
One37PM landing Page take
ONE37pm is a new media brand covering the lifestyle of entrepreneurship in culture, music, style, sports and business.
The current state of entrepreneurship is bigger than career. It’s ambition, grit and hustle.
It’s a live performance that lights up your creativity…
a sweat session that sends your endorphins coursing…
a visionary who expands your way of thinking.
Those rushes of inspiration and clarity are what ONE37pm is built around.
We believe in the importance of seizing every moment.
Our motto: Own your future, start this minute.
The Gallery Media Group Take on One37PM
Their Google Adwords Ad’s Take on What One37PM is?
Lastly, here are some other articles that share more information from Gary Vaynerchuk and Ryan Harwood as they were asked questions and for more insights on this new Men’s lifestyle media blog and brand One37PM
Moving Your Auction Business Online Provides Many Advantages
If your auction company doesn’t already have an Internet presence, it is definitely worth considering taking your business online. There are countless marketing opportunities that open up when you use the Internet as a part of your overall business plan.
In the following section, you can find a detailed analysis of how transitioning from in-person auctions to online auctions can benefit your business:
Selling Online Can Reduce Your Expenses
One of the most effective ways to cut the expenses associated with holding an auction is by moving online. Online auctions make it easier to find buyers by dramatically expanding your reach. They also generally result in lower costs. That not only includes the actual cost of selling items but also the cost of storing them. Online marketing expenses are generally lower, as well, helping to lower the cost of selling online even further.
Highly-Targeted Marketing Opportunities
When you sell products online, you have an unparalleled opportunity to gather data about your users. Based on the products that they buy and the way that they interact with your website, you can learn a lot of key information about how they shop online and about what types of products they are interested in. This can help you target your marketing much more effectively. If you have an email marketing list, you can also use the data that you gather to create targeted email messages that get excellent results.
A Chance To Reach New Markets
Selling online can give you access to new markets that you may not have been able to reach in any other way. For instance, if you are selling high-dollar goods, posting them online may help you reach potential buyers that would never have been able to find the items if they were only being sold locally. There are plenty of great places to sell online and among them are auction sites – if you’re wondering what to pick for your business, read this and compare auction platforms.
Another advantage of selling online is that you don’t have to keep regular office hours. Instead, people can find your products any time of the day or night. That means that you can continue earning money during holidays, on the weekends, or after-hours. Even if you just choose to supplement your traditional auctions with a few online offerings, it can still be a good way to supplement your regular income and to get through any slow times.
Instead of customers having to come to your location, they can shop from wherever they are in the world. This can open up a lot more sales opportunities and can help drive the bidding higher. Best of all, a lot of this activity can take place while you are sleeping or while you are away from your computer doing other things.
Online Auctions Can Drive Prices Higher
The opportunity to get an amazing deal on a high-quality item is one of the primary reasons why people attend auctions. At the same time, however, bidding wars can often drive prices up, helping you get a great price for the item. The online auction environment makes it easy for people to bid, helping to increase the chances of bidding wars driving up the prices.
If you are looking to expand your online selling business, you might be looking at expanding to an international eBay operation. If this is something that you are considering, there are a lot of tips that you need to look at. Selling internationally on eBay is a bit different to selling nationally and you need to know what to do.
Understand The Trading Laws In The Countries You Are Selling To
Before you decide to sell your items on eBay to an international audience, you need to look at the import rules for the countries you want to target. If you are going to be sending a package worth $800 or more to the United States, the buyer will be charged a customs fee. You also need to consider if the items that you want to sell are on the restricted or prohibited items list that all countries have.
Before listing your items, you should look at the customs sites for the country you want to sell to. You will be able to check your item is legal and learn all of their rules before you sell. It is a good idea to let any potential customers know about customs fees they could pay when they buy from you. eBay also offers guidelines regarding specific items and countries.
You Can Sell Using 2 Different Methods
There are 2 ways that you can sell internationally and the first is to list each item on the eBay site of the country you are targeting. Using this method, if you want to sell in France, you need to use ebay.fr while selling in Spain will be on ebay.es. Your eBay ID is universal and you will be able to post on any site the same way you do in your home country. However, you do need to be aware that the insertion fees will vary depending on the site.
The other option for selling internationally is to list your item on your eBay site then offer international postage and use the International Site Visibility upgrade. This allows your items to be seen on all eBay sites which you have provided shipping information for. When potential customers find your listing, they will see that the item is in your country, but they will still be able to buy it if they are willing to pay the postage.
Meet The eBay Account Requirements For International Selling
There are certain account requirements that you need to meet before you are able to sell internationally. These will include having a seller account and having at least 10 positive feedback points from buyers. To start getting this feedback, you will need to sell within your country and provide good service.
You will also need to ensure that you use PayPal as a payment option for your listings. Not all eBay sites require you to offer PayPal when you first sign up, but you need to offer this to sell internationally. This is also a good idea because PayPal is the easiest and most secure ways to transfer money for online sales and your international buyers will feel more confident because of the protection this offers. If you are going to be listing your items directly on the different eBay websites, you need to ensure that your PayPal is able to receive funds in different currencies.
Agree To The International Selling Agreement
Before you sell internationally for the first time, eBay will instruct you to agree to their International Selling Agreement. This agreement includes information about money back guarantees and payments for your customers. There are other policies that you also need to be aware of which could affect your international selling.
Buyer and seller protection programs will help you resolve any disputes that might occur between you and your buyer. You also need to look at how to keep all of your accounts in high standing if this applies. Duplicate items are also an issue as you are only able to list a single item once across all of the eBay websites.
Offer Competitive International Delivery Prices
Regardless of the method that you are using to sell on eBay internationally, you need to make your listing appealing to potential buyers. Offering a range of international delivery options is the best option. To do this, you need to be able to find the best international shipping options for your customers. If you want to know where to get stamps for customers then USA Stamp Guide shows you the closest place to you.
There are some courier comparison websites that you can use which will help you find the best rates for your international listing. The delivery options you offer can vary depending on the speed of delivery and the rates that the customer wants to pay. You will simply need to measure the dimensions of the package and enter this into the comparison website to get a quote on the delivery price.
Here are 10 in effective ways of successfully branding your business.
Start by Defining the Brand
the first step is reviewing the product or service that you’re offering, identifying the space in which it occupies in the market, and then researching the rational and emotive concerns and needs of your customers. The character of your brand should ideally promote your business, differentiate you in the market, and connect with your customer base.
Think of Your Brand as a Person
Every person is an individual and has a character made up of certain values, beliefs, and purposes that define who the person is and who they connect with. Our personalities ideally determining how we will behave in different situations, what we say, and how we dress. For people, obviously more intuitive and quite rare that we even consider what our own character is like, but when building a brand, it is crucial to have that understanding.
Consider the Driving Force of Your Business
as a business, what do you believe in? What your purpose, who are your brand heroes? These are some of the things that can help you determine your emotive brand positioning as well as inform your character and identity for brand communication.
Work to Develop a Long-Term Relationship with Each of Your Customers
Don’t just raise expectations and dress up your offering, as they will ultimately result into broken promises. Instead, use honest branding to create trust; be very clear on exactly who your company is, and remain true to the values that drives its purpose every day.
Establish A Consistent Tone of Voice for Your Customers
This will help you reinforce the character of your business, and clarify on its offerings, so that the customers are aware of what they can expect from your product or service.
Use a Mix
A mix of online marketing for branding as well as offline stuff such as bus stop advertising or billboards can help reach all customer bases and is a good idea.
Never Try to Mimic the Look of The Big Brands or Chains
Aim to carve out a distinctive identity of your own. Currently, is a great trend among consumers towards independent businesses/establishments, and a number of chains are actually trying to mimic the independent feel in an effort to capture a chunk of this market. As such, the truly independent establishments can take advantage of their status to appeal to the consumers who prefer something more authentic; something that lines up with their identity or character.
Stand for Something You Truly Believe In – Be Bold, Innovative, And Daring
There are huge layers of bureaucracy among the big brands, which makes them less flexible, and are thus slow to react to the ever-changing needs and concerns of the consumers. The decision-makers are encumbered by these layers, making it hard for them to be daring in their branding.
Consider Your Brand as You Communicate with Customers
Don’t delete your brand positioning or lose your pride with indiscriminate discounting. Try to offer more instead of slashing the prices. Holding promotions is a great way to reinforce the mission of your brand.
Stamping Your Logo Everywhere Is Outdated and Won’t Cut It
Respect the intelligence of your customers by avoiding to give everything away upfront. The future of branding is more flexible and engaging. You can create some intrigue to let them find out more about you on their own. That’s how you foster brand ambassadors who will be happy to tell other people what they just discovered.
Auto insurance is quite a strange product that people purchase it, but they never expect to use it. Many types of coverage in the auto insurance policy will only apply following a car accident, and there is no driver who wants to get injured or cause damages to his/her vehicle. However, 47 states in the U.S. require all drivers to have some car insurance mainly liability and property damage coverage. Auto insurance is mandatory, but a considerably great number of drivers are still reluctant to purchase it for various reasons. Here are some common problems that have led people to avoid purchasing auto coverage and why goodtogoinsurance can be an easy solution.
For the sake of cutting cost
In some cases, drivers will buy insurance but only begrudgingly. They make the purchase only because the law requires it without actually seeing any potential benefit. Those drivers have no belief that auto insurance provides real value and, therefore, consider this product a waste of money. An economic downturn has been an affecting factor as well. People cut cost where they can, and auto insurance is an expense that cannot give immediate or direct benefit in return unless you are involved in an accident. There are laws to regulate fines or punishment for uninsured drivers, but they are willing to take the chance to avoid paying insurance premium even when they can afford it.
If the reason is budget-related, it is easy to notice that the competition between insurers is fierce. Insurance companies are also trying to reduce price anywhere possible to encourage customers to comply with state’s’ laws. Even for high-risk drivers who need to purchase non-standard more expensive coverage, there are many good options available. Good to go insurance is a prime example that provides affordable coverage for high-risk drivers.
Bad experiences with previous insurance company
Another common reason is the unfavorable attitude toward insurers based on past experiences. Insurance companies are not created equal, indeed; there are stories of insurance fraud told by families, friends, neighbors or even online acquaintances. Although those horror insurance stories came from only a handful of companies, people are becoming more reluctant to purchase coverage because they are afraid to be deceived. Someone else’s unfortunate events in the past, such as rejected claims or unexpected premium increase, lead to the belief that insurance companies are things to avoid.
A good way to prevent fraud is to purchase from a reputable, experienced insurance company. Good companies may not provide the cheapest rate, but probably millions of customers have proved the quality of services. Goodtogoinsurance is a subsidiary of American Independent Companies, Inc., an insurance firm that has been in the industry for more than 25 years. Furthermore, this parent company has a network of licensed underwriters spread in most states in the country. It allows Good to Go Auto Insurance to provide coverage more efficiently while it makes sure that your policy complies with the local law regardless of where you live. A licensed, reputable company means it provides all services by a set of insurance standards regulated by the states.
Denial of real risk
The worst reason is simply a denial of known risks. Some people do not want to purchase auto insurance not because it is expensive, or they are acting preventive towards possible fraud, but because of ignorance. These people understand very well about the possibility of getting involved in an accident, but they ignore the risk anyway because of the belief that accidents will not happen to them. Beyond the financial protection, insurance card, and policy document, auto insurance is an intangible product. If an accident occurs or they are caught committing traffic violations, the fines can be higher than normal because driving without insurance is also another violation. Moreover, they have a greater possibility of being considered high-risk drivers, which leads them to make the most expensive purchase of non-standard coverage. The good thing is that the company has managed to give some payment options to break down a full-year premium. The way they have the payments option are the monthly and quarterly basis, so the non-standard cost coverage is more manageable.
In such situation, many insurers will reject your applications. High-risk drivers are those with bad past driving records or high probability of filing claims in the future. Insurance companies do not like this kind of customers, meaning non-standard coverage is a must-purchase. Some insurers provide non-standard coverage, but the company has been better known to specialize in providing minimum liability coverage for high-risk drivers.
In reality, there is always the risk of being involved in a road accident. If you are now considered high-risk due to previous major traffic violations or young age, it can be difficult to find a company to underwrite your insurance policy. Even when you do find one, you should expect that the price is beyond normal. Goodtogoinsurance focuses on providing its services to high-risk drivers, but the company has many discounts with relaxed eligibility requirements to help you reduce/manage premium cost better.
If you are at fault in an accident, the minimum liability coverage and property damage give a payout to the other party involved. The financial protection is for you, but it is for covering the cost that you need to pay because you are legally responsible. Your car is also an investment worth protecting, and the company offers optional coverage including Collision and Comprehensive to protect your car. Vehicle repair can be quite expensive, but insurance helps to prevent you from spending more money.
Standard and Non-Standard Policy
There are some reasons why an insurance company regards you as high-risk drivers. For example being teen driver, having no home-ownership, previous DUI or any significant traffic violation, driving sport/antique car, and more. Some companies even use a credit score to determine your category. Whether or not you are high-risk, goodtogoinsurance.org can provide affordable policy without reducing the quality of services. Also, Collision and Comprehensive are optional only. The process of purchasing insurance from the company is very simple as well either from an agent or online. Furthermore, you can ask for free quotes to see an estimation of your premium prior to purchasing. All those features are accessible from the official website of the company.
In conclusion, many factors lead people to avoid purchasing auto coverage. However, Good to go insurance has been great in terms quality, reputation, options, discounts, and high-risk tolerance to deny easily the assumption that people do not need it.
Is your business or company making use of a VPN – or are you just leaving everything to chance?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is basically a technology that enables you to establish or create a secure network within a public network like the World Wide Web. A VPN, just like the internet itself, is a tool that every business or company should have at its disposal.
It has never been more necessary to keep your online activities private like it is today because of the widespread occurrence of Firesheep, phishing, Wi-Fi spoofing and many other malicious activities. Virtual offices and telecommuting are being used more and more by businesses from around the world. Employees are being forced to use unsecured public networks to undertake these activities and this can be quite risky.
Do your employees find themselves making use of unsecured networks to upload files to company servers? How many times do they make use of the free Wi-Fi at the airport or local coffee to finish their work and meet their deadlines? Employees working on such unsecured networks has become a norm in today’s world. What they do not know is the danger they are exposing themselves and the company to.
Virtual Private Networks are very similar to firewalls as the help to protect the files on your computer as you browse the web. In technical terms, a VPN is like a wide area network (WAN). On the end-users side, your digital workspace has the same functionality and security that you would expect on a private connection. The real benefits of a VPN exist behind the scenes.
Today, VPNs have become very popular among businesses and individuals who are already know about their benefits. VPNs make use of various dedicated connections combined with strong encryption protocols to establish secure P2P connections. When a person with malicious intent accesses the data being transmitted, the strong encryption ensures the data is useless to the attacker.
Still not convinced that your business needs to have a VPN? Read on to find out the benefits of a VPN.
According to BestVPN.com VPNs significantly reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and security breaches. You may assume that hackers only attack other companies or other people. However, companies and individuals get hacked every day. Only the biggest attacks make the headlines. Between the year 2014 to 2015, Symantec observed a 125 percent increase in zero-day vulnerabilities. By making use of a VPN, you are making sure that your company is less likely to become a target of these malicious attacks.
VPNs improve productivity. Nowadays, employees and staff are aware that public networks are not safe. This may make them reluctant or wary of logging into company databases and systems using unsecured networks. If they travel frequently, you can be sure that they will not want to work on unsecured networks while on the road. When you have a VPN, your employees feel safe and free to work from anywhere.
VPNs make clients and customers feel safe and secure. If your company collects data from customers, clients or patients, you can make them feel at ease when providing this data by making use of a VPN. Although many of them may not really understand what a VPN is, most customers and clients will appreciate a company that takes extra measures to keep their information safe and secure.
VPNs allows you to remain in the U.S while traveling abroad. VPNs provides alternative IP addresses that your employees can use to access numerous websites and system while traveling abroad. It is worthy to note that some countries have strict internet access restrictions (for example China which greatly restricts access to Facebook). In order for your employees to stay connected, they will definitely need a VPN. Also, many customers and clients are normally wary of opening emails that appear to be sent from abroad. However, there is no reason for employees not to send emails when abroad as a VPN redirects the communication to appear as if it is coming from the company offices or HQ in the U.S.
VPNs are very affordable. VPNs are actually very cheap considering the numerous benefits they have to offer. Prices may vary but most VPNs may charge anywhere from $10 a month. VPNs are therefore an affordable and budget friendly security solution for your business.
A VPN can easily be established for employees working offsite. In this case, the VPN only works when every single employee is on board. Everyone needs to understand how to access the VPN protocol as well as the importance and the benefits of using it. This concept should be regularly reiterated to involved parties so that it becomes part of the norm.
VPNs are user friendly and easy to use. The first step to use a VPN is to access the World Wide Web through your ISP like you would normally do. Next, you need to initiate a VPN connection with your specific VPN server using the dedicated software or program provided. The VPN software or programs ensures that your connection to public networks is safe and secure.
(NB: While it is possible for businesses to establish their own Virtual Private Networks with the help of specialized network equipment, consumers still have a wide variety of free and paid VPN services that they can opt for. Lucian Constantin from Computerworld says that “Free VPN services have slow connection speeds, are overcrowded and usually display ads.” He goes on to add that Free VPNs are suitable for the average internet user looking for privacy and security.)
Improving your business’s security does not have to be a time consuming or costly affair – with a Virtual Private Network, you get an instant boost in security.